In recent days, the NFL has caused quite a bit of controversy after teams throughout the league protested comments made last week by President Trump. His comments came in the wake of players “taking a knee” during the singing of the National Anthem. Colin Kaepernick, former 49ers quarterback, popularized the now infamous trend. By taking a knee, Kaepernick and others claim they’ve taken the opportunity to protest racism and social injustice across the United States.
Trump’s comments, in which he said that protesting players should be fired, created a firestorm. From coast to coast, franchises banded together in solidarity to protest the President’s tweets. The protests started early Sunday in London with the Ravens and Jaguars setting the tone for the rest of the day. Later, some teams locked arms or knelt while others refused to come out of the locker rooms at all. On Monday Night Football, the Dallas Cowboys and Arizona Cardinals followed suit, locking arms on their respective sidelines in a show of solidarity with their fellow players.
Not everyone agrees with the protests, though. Matt Light, former offensive tackle for the New England Patriots, admitted that he felt ashamed when 17 players from his team took a knee.
In the middle of it all, fans remain divided. Fans booed at many games on Sunday. It’s clear that many don’t agree with kneeling during the National Anthem. Though, they don’t agree that players should be fired for their behavior either. The issue skirts a fine line between patriotism and first amendment rights. At what point does one negate the other?